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Historic Ice Storm Unfolds in South; Lengthy Power Outages Possible














By Brian Lada, Meteorologist



February 11, 2014; 8:09 PM









With a major winter storm unfolding over the South, snow and ice will severely impact travelers and residents from Texas to the Carolinas through midweek.




The event could be the worst ice storm for parts of the South in more than 10 years.





One batch of snow, sleet, rain and freezing rain affected the South Monday into Tuesday.





Nearly 650 flights have been canceled at Atlanta International Airport alone as of Tuesday afternoon.




Another batch of snow and ice will hit many of the same areas spanning Tuesday night into Wednesday night, including parts of Texas, Arkansas, northern Louisiana and central and northern Mississippi.











According to AccuWeather.com Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski, "For many areas east of I-59 and near and north of I-20, this part of the storm could be much worse than the first."




Much colder air will press southward into these areas Tuesday night and will set the stage for major wintry problems on Wednesday.




The wintry precipitation on Wednesday will focus on an area stretching from northern Alabama to northern Georgia, central and upstate South Carolina, and much of North Carolina and Virginia. 




Some snow will also reach into portions Tennessee on Wednesday.











In many cases, roads may be too dangerous for travel. There is the potential to become stranded. If you drive, there is the risk of not only putting yourself at risk but also your would-be rescuers.













For folks that absolutely must travel, allow extra time in anticipation for delays as the snow and ice can rapidly accumulate on roadways, especially on bridges and overpasses.






While sleet is hazardous and difficult to remove, freezing rain brings the greatest risk for power outages and travel. This storm will bring both to many communities. However, the communities that receive between 0.50 and 1.00 inch of freezing rain could face severe problems.





On Monday afternoon, Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal announced a State of Emergency for 45 counties in the state ahead of the winter storm. Also on Monday, Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley issued a state of emergency for the entire state.






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According to Senior Meteorologist Mark Mancuso, "There is the potential for a historic ice storm from northern Georgia to central and upstate South Carolina to central North Carolina Tuesday night and Wednesday."





This area lies along and just southeast of I-85.









The area from Atlanta to Columbia, S.C., and Fayetteville and Raleigh, N.C., may be ground zero for the ice storm. 





Some communities may experience great devastation from freezing rain.




A heavy buildup of freezing rain on trees and power lines can lead to scores of fallen trees, widespread power outages and bring travel to a halt.












"A number of communities over the interior South may have more significant, much longer-lasting sleet, freezing rain and snow when compared to the storm from late January," AccuWeather.com Southern Weather Expert Meteorologist Dan Kottlowski said.







It may take many days for power to be completely restored across this area due to heavy icing over such a large area.








"While parts of the South are hit with an ice storm about once every three years, this storm could have a similar outcome to that of 2002 for some locations,"
Kottlowski said.




Heavy snow will fall on the northern Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia mountains with some locations forecast to receive a foot of snow or more. 





A half of a foot to a foot of snow may fall Winston-Salem and Greensboro, N.C., and Roanoke, Va.





Although locations along the I-10 corridor will escape the danger the ice brings, heavy rain associated with the storm can lead to localized flooding, especially in low-lying and poor-drainage areas.






Parts of central Florida may even have a few strong thunderstorms.





This storm will continue to track up the East Coast heading into Thursday, delivering over a foot of snow to portions of the Northeast.










http://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-news/ice-storm-begins-to-unfold-in/23186487






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